Azerbaijan

H.E. Mr. Jeyhun Aziz oglu Bayramov, Minister for Foreign Affairs

24 September 2022

Azerbaijan
Statement Summary: 

JEYHUN AZIZ OGLU BAYRAMOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, pointed out that his country is well-known for promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue, spotlighting the Baku Process that the Government launched in 2008 with various partners.  Based on that experience, Azerbaijan launched a new international initiative, the Peace4Culture Global Call, which aims to contribute to sustainable peace and the development and protection of cultural heritage.  Among other international and domestic initiatives, Azerbaijan also pursues a transition to a green, circular economy, which is a priority in its development agenda despite oil and gas playing a significant role in its economy.  He pointed out that the non-oil sector of his country’s economy rose by 11 per cent in the first half of 2022, triggering a 7.2 per cent increase in its gross domestic product (GDP).  Further, $3 billion has been allocated from the State budget towards building new “smart” cities and villages using modern urban-planning methods.  Positioned at the crossroads of the North-South and East-West transport corridors, routes passing through Azerbaijan offer competitive advantages for transport operators and businesses, he added.

However, he noted that Armenia has inflicted long-term damage on his country’s environment, also destroying, plundering or misappropriating thousands of Azerbaijan’s cultural-heritage objects.  Recalling that his country has called on Armenia for decades to support an independent, transparent mission by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to advise on protecting cultural heritage in the region, he reiterated that request.  For almost 30 years, Armenia has committed ethnic cleansing and carried out an illegal settlement policy.  In response to yet another large-scale military provocation, Azerbaijan launched a counter-offensive in 2020, liberating its territories and resolving the conflict through military and political means in line with the statement signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and Armenia on 10 November 2020.  Azerbaijan has now embarked on unprecedented recovery and reconstruction activities in the liberated territories, he said, but a major impediment to this process is Armenia’s continued refusal to provide accurate, complete information on mined areas.

He went on to emphasize that his country is committed to regional peace, stability and development and, to this end, that establishing good relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan is key to building a secure, prosperous South Caucasus.  Azerbaijan, therefore, has initiated the process of normalizing its relations with Armenia, along with efforts to begin delimiting borders and unblocking transportation and communication links.  He pointed out, however, that Armenia — instead of implementing its commitments in good faith — frequently resorts to provocations and sabotage to exacerbate tensions and undermine the normalization process.  Detailing the recent large-scale military provocation by Armenia, he underscored that his country “is not, and cannot be, interested in this tension” and noted that the latest hostilities erupted near areas where large-scale, post-conflict investment, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects were under way.  Urging Armenia to constructively engage in the ongoing normalization process, he stressed that “it is high time” for both nations to turn over this tragic page of history and start building a better future for their children.  “The commitment of the Azerbaijan side is there,” he underlined.


Source

Right of Reply

First Declaration (26 September 2022)

The representative of Azerbaijan, responding to the false narratives presented by the delegation of Armenia, said Armenia’s leaders invented the outrageous concept of ethnic incompatibility of Armenians and Azerbaijanis, unleashed aggression against Azerbaijan and ordered the killings of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians, total ethnic cleansing of the ceased territory and the destruction of hundreds of cities, towns and villages.  After the end of the conflict, in November 2020, Azerbaijan initiated the process of normalizing relations with Armenia and pushed for concrete results on the delimitation and demarcation of the border between the two countries, the conclusion of a peace treaty and the opening of transport communications in the region.  Despite the strong support of the international community and efforts made to move the normalization agenda forward, Armenia obstructed the process.  Drawing attention to border escalation by Armenia this month, he underscored that Azerbaijan took proportionate measures to neutralize the threat against its sovereign territorial integrity.  These measures were limited and targeted at military objects, he added.

Source: GA/12452

Second Declaration (26 September 2022)

The representative from Azerbaijan, taking the floor again, said that the Armenian side delivered standard fabrications and distortions again instead of responding, which is illustrative of their unwillingness to engage in dialogue.  Armenia will face responsibility for its crimes, racist ideologies and policies that it is still pursuing, he said.  The consistent patterns in grave human rights abuses demonstrate Armenia’s objective to expel, terrorize, kill and fully erase Azerbaijani heritage.  The United Nations, European Union and other international organizations have expressed concern about the spirit of intolerance in Armenia, he said, expressing hoped that Armenia will not miss the post-conflict opportunity to address its misdeeds.  Azerbaijan is firm in its determination to advance post-conflict peacebuilding, ensure justice and eliminate by legitimate means all threats against the well-being and safety of its people and to Azerbaijani sovereignty and territorial integrity, he stressed.

Source: GA/12452

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